Assistant Professor


  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Assistant Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Cultural Anthropology
  • Department:

    • Anthropology and Geography
  • Education:

    • Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology, Yale University, 2016 M.Phil in Sociocultural Anthropology, Yale University, 2013 M.S. Ed. in TESOL and Applied Linguistics, Long Island University, 2005 B.A. in International/Intercultural Studies, Pitzer College, 2001
  • Curriculum Vitae:


Adrienne Cohen is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on aesthetics, political-economic change, and transnational migration in urban Africa. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Guinea, West Africa, as well as among Guinean migrants in the US. Her current book project focuses ethnographically on dancers and musicians in Guinea’s capital city of Conakry working in troupes called “ballets.” These performing artists, whose profession was originally the outgrowth of socialist cultural policies, are reinventing the contours of their practice in a capitalist economy. Dr. Cohen uses dance as a medium through which to examine the complex relationship between affect, social life, and political economy in Africa.
Aesthetics and politics; African studies; political economy; urban theory; performance; art; semiotics; affect; socialism and capitalism; migration; qualitative methods


Cohen, Adrienne (Forthcoming June 2021) Infinite Repertoire: On Dance and Urban Possibility in Postsocialist Guinea. The University of Chicago Press.

Cohen, Adrienne (2020)  (revising to resubmit) “The Revolution Lost: Generational Change and Urban Youth Logics in Conakry’s Dance-Music.” In Young People and Popular Culture in Africa, edited by Paul Ugor. New York: University of Rochester Press, African Studies Series.

Cohen, Adrienne (2019) “Performing Excess: Urban Ceremony and the Semiotics of Precarity in Guinea-Conakry.” Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute. 89 (4): 718-738.

Cohen, Adrienne (2018) Occult return, divine grace, and saabui: practising transnational kinship in postsocialist Guinea. Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute 24:275-292.

Cohen, Adrienne (2018) review of Red Hangover: Legacies of Twentieth-Century Commmunism by Kristen Ghodsee, American Ethnologist 45(3):442.

Cohen, Adrienne (2016) Inalienable Performances, Mutable Heirlooms: Dance, Cultural Inheritance, and Political Transformation in the Republic of Guinea. American Ethnologist 43(4):650-662.


  • ANTH 100, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

  • ANTH 225, Anthropology of the Arts

  • ANTH 310, Peoples and Cultures of Africa: African Cities, Ethnographic Perspectives

  • ANTH 315, Global Mobilities: Transnationalism, Culture, and the African Diaspora

  • ANTH 440, Contemporary Theory in Cultural Anthropology